Monthly Archives: July 2013

This Week in Nashville, TN


Where should I begin this week?  I’ll begin with some fun to be had on Thursday, August 1st.  If you want to have fun in Hillsboro Circle, way more fun than the traffic any time of day over in that neck of the woods, you’ll find your fill at Cumberland Gallery from 5-8pm this Thursday.  Cumberland Gallery and Art After Hours will be presenting “Where Water Meets Land: An Evening With Andrew Saftel.”  Saftel will speak about his recent pilgrimage to Bangladesh, his month hosting printmaking workshops for adults, working with children, and leading a “floating studio” on the Meghna River with thirty established artists.  There will be plenty of exotic collages, paintings, and prints all around.  The event is FREE and open to the public.  The artist talk will begin promptly at 6:30pm.  This specific exhibit will only run for one week only!  Get on it!

Friday will bring us all fun times at the always fun The Family Wash (2038 Greenwood Avenue).  Friday is Jerry Garcia’s birthday (even though he’s long dead and gone).  Come out to The Family Wash for a night of Grateful Dead music at 9pm alongside that of Adam Abrashoff, Braden Stuart Land, Tyson Rogers, Jack Silverman, and James Haggerty.  It will be a blast, and the food & spirits are always on tap.  Speaking of having a blast, you can also have a blast with James Haggerty next Tuesday night (August 6th- at Fat Bottom Brewing Co- for the next East Side Storytellin’ show- at 7pm sharp- for FREE- alongside musician Tommy Keenum, painter Jonathan Richter, and poet DKM).  The Family Wash gig has no cover but tips are always appreciated … so is the Shepherd’s Pie too!

Saturday, as with every single first Saturday of each month, will have plenty of things going on to make the most of Nashville and creativity.  First on this write-up and list is to make aware about the Griffin Technology sponsored Nashville Outlines 2013 over at The Stone Fox (712 51st Avenue North).  Basically this is going to be an all day block party (Indiana Avenue closed at 51st Avenue) with music outside and inside, plus the Summer Market craft fair.  There will be Bike Tune-Ups from the Oasis Center mobile Bike Workshop, a dunk tank (thanks to Third Man Records), foot with Smokin Thighs, The Grilled Cheeserie, and Retro Sno, a petting zoo with Fond Object, and tons of music hosted by Tom Scharpling of The Best Show on WFMU.  Some of the plentiful music will be made by JEFF the Brotherhood, Natalie Prass, Tristen, and many more.  It will go down from 11am until 2am.

Other things, on the first Saturday, August 3rd, that I’d like to talk about is the Sideshow Fringe Festival presenting Magda the StorySpider at noon, at Theater Bug (2618 Gallatin Pike).  You can find out more information about performers and more information at  It is a 4-day celebration at several venues with a ton of Nashville’s progressive performing arts.

Third on the list, in no ranking order, is the Downtown Art Crawl.  Part one that fascinates my attention is Untitled’s next Pop-Up Art Show.  As with everything else going down from 6-9pm, this event will happen in the street-facing lobby at Colab Nashville (230 4th Avenue).  This event will help kick off the Crawl with the most original local art and some fine FREE coffee or wine before feasting your eyes on the variety of art on the walls.  Part two that makes me smile is that of “Retrogression” at The Arcade at Gallery 40AU.  This will feature the art of Kelly Kessler and Audry Deal-McEver.  Part three will be “Reclamation: a green benefit fundraiser featuring reuse art.”  Located at 535 4th Avenue South, Untitled Artist Group and Turnip Green Creative Reuse (Turnip Green) are joining forces to host a sustainable and creative one-night art show from 6-10pm.  I’d rather tell you about times and places this week instead of giving you too much information about what you’ll actually see.  Getting there is half the battle.  So get your plans together and make it a point to head downtown to everything creative from 6-9pm.  You won’t regret it.


Speaking of things you won’t regret, Sunday has two spectacular events you should know about.  First, Hey Rooster General Store is having their 1st annual Peach Party: Peach Potluck & Cocktails.  Because peach season will be over in a short few weeks, and the grand tomato will reign again (see Tomato Art Fest at 5 Points August 10th for starters), Hey Rooster General Store is ready to have a party to give the peach one last hoorah if you bring a peach dish and beverage of your own.  Hey Rooster General Store is about as original as original can get.  Check it out online and in person when you get a chance (1106 Gallatin Avenue).  Second, at 8pm, at Octane Gallery (1000 Main Street), you will find the best combination of art and prose since East Side Story.  It is there and when when you’ll find the acclaimed cartoonist Eric Powell will be showcasing his latest and greatest work in an exhibition called “People I Know in Nashville When I’m Drunk.”  It will be a brilliant showing of portraits of interesting friends and acquaintances warped through Powell’s late night beer goggled lens.  It will be anything and everything but boring.

Seriously, yet again, this week and creativity in Nashville will be anything and everything but boring.   Again, make your plans and get out to see everyone doing amazing things around town.  This is a very unique time and place to be.  Make the most of it and be nice to one another when you get out there.  And speaking of getting out there, I hope to see you around East Side Story for the Tomato Art Fest next weekend on August 10th!

much love,



For the next 3 days in Nashville …

Everything this week starts with tomorrow, Friday, July 26th. First, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts is going to be a major place to be. At noon, there will be a very special curator’s tour of “Jack Spencer: Beyond the Surface.” Meet at the exhibition entrance, gallery admission required unless you are already a member (I suggest you become a member). Chief Curator Mark Scala will lead a tour of the exhibition while discussing Spencer’s photography in the context of its relation to painting and literature. It will be an insightful tour for an extraordinary artist. But don’t leave the Frist after that is over. Friday is also a Frist Friday! The Long Players will be performing The Cars’ debut album from beginning to end in honor of the current exhibition “Sensuous Steel: Art Deco Automobile.” This will go down from 6-9pm. Tickets are $10 unless you are a member (members get in FREE – see, it already paid for itself again). The event is rain or shine and The Long Players are always a great time!

Second, from 5-7pm, you and all of your friends are invited to the 2013 Pre-College Exhibition and Screening at Watkins. It is a special, one-night exhibition of work completed by the 2013 Pre-College Program students in the drawing & painting, film, and graphic design tracks. A gallery show will be held in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery. The film will premiere in Watkins Theater at 5:30pm with an encore screening at 6:30pm. Refreshments will be provided.

Third, from 8-11pm, The Nashville Fringe Festival Presents: Music From Around The World at the Belmont Mansion of Belmont University (1700 Acklen Avenue). The event is FREE to attend, to park, and is open to the public. This concert will feature instrumental music played by several groups and individual musicians. There will be folkdance music of Eastern Europe, an accordion player playing music from Bosnia and Bulgaria, a strong representation of Paraguay’s harp tradition, a duo of classical guitarists playing from Brazil and Argentina, an Egyptian musician playing Middle Eastern music on keyboard, and the Serenatta Romantic Latin Ensemble will perform music from Colombia. Basically, this will be a lot more than just your typical country/hipster Saturday night show!


If none of that is your cup of tea, why not go on over to “You’re a Winner (Interactive Performance Art)” at Noa Noa (620 Hamilton Avenue). Doors open at 8:30pm (Friday and Saturday), but the show won’t start until 9 sharp. There is a suggested donation of $5 and it is BYOB. Park in the front yard and surrounding business lots. Noa Noa is a safe and comfortable environment for everyone. Just come and ask for either Tony Youngblood or Tommy Stangroom if you don’t know anyone yet. All you have to bring is yourself, a positive (winning) attitude, something to drink, a blanket or chair, bug spray, and your A game so that you might win a prize during the interactive fun. I’ve heard that there will be sequins, prizes, Nirvana music, sitting, unicorns, and so much more. Check out this video for a preview:, and for more information about the performance on Saturday, July 27th, click the FB event is located here:


Come join me and others in welcoming author/musician Michael Snow from 3-5pm, with a reading at 4pm from Michael’s book “Mersey Me!” From the the frontroom boy on the stages of Europe to the backroom boy in the studios of London and Nashville, Michael has been around the music game for over fifty years as a touring and studio musician, songwriter, recording artist, producer, arranger, and publishing executive. Don’t miss your chance, one and all artists, to meet Michael in person and listen firsthand to some of his amazing stories. Books and refreshments will be on site. It will be at East Side Story, 1108 Woodland Street, Unit B!


Then, at 7pm (until 12:30am), Joe Melanson (of No Egrets in Clarksville) will be at Boheme Collectif (919 Gallatin Avenue, Suite 8) to bring you one heck of a pop-art extravaganza benefiting Room at the Inn and E.N.C.M. The show will feature some of the best artists that Middle TN has to offer with all kinds of mediums, as well as music, performance, and a bake sale. Come out and help support E.N.C.M.’s ongoing mission of being a much needed resource to help serve the homeless and impoverished in Nashville. You’ll feel better if you do, trust me.


And speaking of feeling better on Sunday, after a long weekend of fun, you should drop by the Research Club at Fort Houston (500 Houston Street) for the Eleventh Edition of Research Club. From noon-2pm, guest speakers will talk for about 15 minutes apiece. It’s FREE to attend, and it’s a wonderful experience for some great community artists and leaders to talk with you and for you to hang out and discuss whatever right back at them. This Sunday will feature the likes of Abby Whisenant (a valued asset at Oasis Center who is going to speak about the Metro Arts Commission funded photo-voice project that will have local teenagers promote the concept of youth transportation via photographs and narratives), Ryan Turbeville (a marketing strategist for a Nashville startup called a micro-publishing platform that lets people make one-page “pop” sites), and Kyle McCollom (a social entrepreneur whose current project, Every, is a powder packet drink that donates rehydration salts to communities in developing countries). Feel free to bring a dish of whatever for a potluck-style brunch to be enjoyed by one and all. This happens the last Sunday of every month. Catch it when you can. Always great people involved with this thing.

Thank YOU for being such great people for reading and sharing this above to help share the love of the awesomeness that is going on in Nashville for the next 3 days (and every day for that matter).

Enjoy your day, week, and weekend, and be nice to one another.

much love,


Tomatoes risin’

Is it too early to start talking about fun things just over the horizon?  Is it too early to start talking about the Tomato Art Fest?  Of course not!  It will be here before we know it, on Saturday, August 10th!


Being that this is the epic 10th anniversary of the Fest this year, I’d like to bring a special note or two to attention for writers and visual artists alike below. 

First, there will be a few changes to the categories for the 2013 Hot Tomato Haiku.  You can see more information and punch your free ticket here-  The new categories for the contest are the following:

Lycopenically Lyrical: In which you bring your Dear Reader into the realm of our favorite uniter and the uniter of all, music.

Fit for Sauce: Make it absurd, make us laugh; make us want a Bloody Mary.

Tomatillo Wee-oh: For poets 12 and under.

A Decade of Improved Whoppers: Sum up in 5/7/5 your take on a decade of Tomato Art Fests – be nostalgic, be goofy, be profound!

Heirloom to the Throne: It’s all you; any of the above categories or any tomato-related theme you’d like, but it’s gotta wow us for the grand prize.

Winners will share their poetic brilliance at the Tomato Art Festival, and snag some pretty sweet prizes. Entries should be sent (one poem, one email, please – unlimited entries) to Deadline is August 2, so start stewing!

Second, this is the week that Meg is accepting art work for the festival art show … the sole reason there was ever a Tomato Art Fest anyways.  You can’t have the Tomato Art Fest without ART in it!  Meg is accepting work this week from Friday, July 19th through Saturday, July 27th.  The entry fee is $10, but go ahead and look at this link for the rest of the proper instructions-

Now, back to the week in order, I have another set of two literary events that will spice up your lives for the next two nights and beyond. 


First, tomorrow night, Tuesday, July 16th, I’ll be front and center to share with you another East Side Storytellin’ show like no other around town.  Combining local literature and music, beginning at 7pm sharp, it’s FREE to attend and enjoy an hour or so of readings and original music.  This week’s featured guests are John Minichillo (author of The Snow Whale – and music by Tommy Womack (  It will go down at Fat Bottom Brewing Co. (900 Main Street) and will be over by 8:30.  Can you honestly think of a better way to be entertained, get cultured up, and enjoy some of the best food and drink around all at the same time and still get you home way before bedtime?  I didn’t think so.  See y’all there.  You can read more about the experience of the last show we put together, with information about this week’s show, here-


Second, speaking of honest and Honest Lewis, there will be another spellbinding literary experience to follow East Side Storytellin’ 18 the very next night.  On Wednesday, July 17th, at Café Coco (210 Louise Avenue, get ready for another DNR Publishing “A Night of Free Speech.”  From 8-11pm, there will be spoken word, poetry, prose, rants, raves, and rambles all around.  Everyone is welcome to participate on stage no matter what style you carve your words into.  Free to participate. Free to attend.  It gets pretty packed so you may need to get there early to sign up for the open mic slots. 

Then, the rest of the week is to whatever you are liking.  There will be art and creative people no matter where you turn.  If you plan on getting out of town, by all means venture up to Bowling Green, KY to see a first.  Artist LA Bachman has put together quite an interesting group of eclectic creative people for a show called “Who do YOU Serve?”  It is showing at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Bowling Green.  While the art is there, this Saturday, July 20th, LA is leading a workshop coinciding with the same theme of the show already there, from 2-4pm.  It is a wonderful chance for people to respond to the question “Who do YOU Serve?” for yourself, via art and writing.  It is a small fee, $10, to pay to be a part of something truly extraordinary and more than just something on a canvas or piece of paper.  You can see more information on this and LA’s work here-

That about does it from here for now.  Enjoy your day, week, and moments ahead.  Help spread the word about the above, get out and do something memorable, and be nice to one another … why not?!

much love,


Rain, rain, but don’t go away

We sometimes have to get drench before we appreciate what it feels like to be dry.  But then again, is Nashville ever really dried up in  terms of things to do and fun to be had?  The answer is no.  This coming week is no different.


One thing that opened this past Saturday, and that I think you should make a point to drop by for in the upcoming weeks, is Tinney Contemporary’s “Disorderly Notions:  New Work by Patricia Bellan-Gillen.”  It opened on July 6th, and will run through August 17th.  After years of studying cultural, dream, mythological, and religious symbols, Bellan-Gillen is mixing personal narratives with fairytales with her drawings that confront viewers simultaneously with beauty and awkwardness, mediating grace with humor, and achieving a weird elegance … something like life.  The result is a show that is worth visiting if you have the time.

Also, if you have the notion and time to get cultured within the city limits beyond Broadway, head on over to Seed Space at 427 Chestnut to celebrate 50 years of videoart with Magmart’s organized video project of “100X100=900 or 100 videoartists to tell a century.”  100 videoartists from around the world were asked to create 100 video artworks, each of which is based on one year of the 1900’s, matched randomly.  As a partner of this project, Seed Space will screen sets of 25 videos according to this schedule during normal office hours (10am-2pm):

July 8 and 10- screen 1st set
July 15 and 17- screen 2nd set
July 22 and 24- screen 3rd set
July 29 and 31- screen 4th set

August 5 and 8- screen 1st set
August 12 and 14- screen 2nd set
August 19 and 21- screen 3rd set
August 26 and 28- screen 4th set

Also this coming Wednesday, July 10th, artist Ezra Whitson is having an art opening at Gordon Jewish Community Center of Nashville (801 Percy Warner Blvd).  From 7-9pm, if you are not scared to be totally blown away by Ezra’s mad art skills, you need to check yourself and your schedule and be there!  Seriously, be there!

Fast forwarding to Saturday, July 13th, head your butt on over to East Side Story at 1pm with your mom, kids, and everyone you know’s moms and kids for an extraordinary book reading, signing, performance by Herman of Herman’s Journey!  See more about Herman here-, but get excited … this will be a blast for kids of all ages.  Yes, I’m talking to YOU!

Then, later in the afternoon, after your nap possibly, head to Zeitgeist (516 Hagan Street, suite 100) for “The Medium’s Session:  a group exhibition curated by Patrick DeGuira.  From 5-8pm, YOU, and everyone else you know in public, are invited to witness a diverse collection of art made by a diverse group of artists who engage with a dialectic between logical matter and the periphery of the unknown.  The word and exhibition title of “Mediium” refers to the notions of a channel, derived from the word séance, which acts as a commentary on the devoted activity of art making.

Then, after you get your fill of the medium, head back East to Poetry in the Brew.  Going down at Portland Brew East, 1921 Eastland Avenue, from 6-8:30pm, you will be amazed by a free round of local, open mic poetry.  Robin E. Wilson will be featured, but a ton of other locals on the rise will be present as well.  You should give poems a chance.  Despite what Chet says, pun intended, Poetry doesn’t Sucks! Chet might be there too.

Talking about Poetry in the Brew makes me remember that it’s That Time of the Month again.  Specifically, That Time of the Month will be at Cafe Coco (210 Louise Avenue) yet again on Sunday, July 14th, at 5pm, and letting the guys run the show for their annual takeover.  The show, “Boys will be Boys,” will be taken over by the talented likes of Bob Clark, Michael Boegh, Landon Lyon, Gary Jenkins, Christopher Pilny, and with a token mama to round out the show template in reverse with Renea Dijab.  Get your tickets at the door or ahead of time at

Another blockbuster show on Sunday, July 14th, that you NEED to know about and witness for yourself, is THE ROUGH AND TUMBLE!!!!!!!  They will be playing at 7pm in town, and you don’t want to miss a chance to see these two (the rough and the tumble).  What, you think I’m just going to hand you the keys to the car on this and give you everything?  I’m gonna let you do a little work and click one step further for your next clue on where to find them so you can listen to their extraordinary stuff along the way.  By the way, Sunday’s attendance is not just welcome, it’s required as a fellow Nashvillian (I can hear Mallory typing now).  Donations will benefit the Holiday Awareness Campaign.  Go to www.facebook.comtheroughandtumble to find more details.  You’re welcome.

And, before I go, I must let you know about the upcoming East Side Storytellin show on Tuesday, July 16th, at 7pm sharp.  At Fat Bottom Brewing Co. (900 Main Street), we’ll be celebrating another round of readings and music with the likes of John Minichillo and Tommy Womack!  Put it on your calendars and I hope to see you all next Tuesday, if not before at most of the above.

As you were, busy but happy,
much love,